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The Pallister government has introduced legislation to tighten rules prohibiting the public consumption of non-medical cannabis products in the province.
Current provincial law bans smoking and vaping of marijuana in public but does not mention cannabis edibles.
Bill 5, introduced in the legislature on Friday, would amend the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act to extend the prohibition to edibles, extracts and topical cannabis products.
These products are scheduled to become available in Canada next month once they're authorized by Health Canada.
Justice Minister Cliff Cullen said Friday the government's stance against public consumption of cannabis will help reduce the risk of public intoxication and impaired driving.
"Our intent here is all about public safety," he told reporters. "We want to make sure that the public is safe around the consumption of edible products."
Cullen allowed that policing of public consumption of cannabis edibles could pose challenges for officers. However, he said the proposed law provides police with a tool they can use at their discretion if they find individuals "who are acting up in public" and are found to be using edible products.
According to the legislative amendments introduced on Friday, non-intoxicating cannabis products would be exempt from the public consumption ban. As would medically authorized cannabis for treatment of a medical condition.
Meanwhile, the government re-introduced a bill formalizing the requirement that all retail cannabis stores in Manitoba pay a social responsibility fee based on revenues from non-medical cannabis products. The initial fee would be set at six per cent of gross sales.
The social responsibility fee would be applied retroactively to January 2019, and the first payment by retailers would be due in June 2020. The legislative amendment was initially introduced in November 2018 but had not yet been passed when this year's provincial election was called.
Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.